by Paul Benson
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up… Ecc 3:1-2
The Seasons Of Life
One of the things I like most about the Scriptures is they show us that many of the different aspects of earthly life are given to teach us about heavenly things. The relationship between a husband and his wife, as well as those with mother, father, sisters and brothers, all in one form or another speak of the way God desires to relate to mankind. In the same fashion, the many seasons of life – spring, summer, fall, and winter – infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old-age also speak to us of the different seasons in God’s dealings with us.
One important thing life teaches us about seasons is that they only last so long. After they linger but a brief time one season now gives place to another. A wise person embraces this vital truth which God intends for the passing seasons of life to bring our way. Life is designed to prod us in a spiritual sense. And we all go through difficult experiences in life that ideally should bring an awareness of our need for a Savior. God does not want tragedy and hardship coming into our lives; but He does work in them to draw us to Him.
Submitting to God’s plowing upon the heart in His efforts to soften the soil is not always a pleasant business. But sometimes it is a necessary part of the process in preparation for the planting of the good seed of the Gospel. Sadly, most people quickly harden their hearts the minute the plowing is over, and never let the Gospel be planted deep enough in them to grow and bring forth the fruit of faith. They put it off thinking they will deal with it someday at a time of their own choosing; not realizing that the time of plowing and planting is but one season in the over-all process. And seasons can quickly pass away!
As a believer it is a joy and honor to witness to others that what Jesus has done for you he can also do for them. I had the privilege one day of sharing with an old friend whom I used to drink and party with before I got right with God. He was walking by my house on his way to some mischief or other, and stopped in to say hi. We had quite a long talk in which he told me of the extremely sorry state his life was in. He was estranged from his wife, and infant son (whom he loved dearly), because of his uncontrollable drug and alcohol use. His health was poor, and he was in constant trouble with the law. His wife had placed a ‘restraining order’ on him which he had violated several times.
I exhorted my friend to repent and turn his life over to Jesus, and let God bring healing and restoration to him. I begged him to turn away from his sins and embrace a life of faith. And, do you know, he was very receptive to what I had to say. As he stood to leave he said he would be thinking about what we had discussed. He said, “Paul, you know I am about three-quarters of the way convinced that I just need to give in and turn my life over to God, only there’s just something in me that says ‘I want my sin!’ But, I do know that I need to change and soon!” I’ll never forget those words, “Three-quarters of the way convinced.”
A Seasons End
As he left I remember being quite happy at the opportunity to share with him, and thinking if he was that close to being convinced, maybe I would soon have him for a brother in the Lord and not merely a friend. But, so sad to say, I never saw my friend again. A week later I was attending his memorial service. I don’t think he planned his death, or even saw it coming. The end of the final season of his life caught him unaware; he thought he could put God off until he decided that he was ready. He was three-quarters of the way persuaded he needed Jesus; but left this world as a lost soul for choosing the pleasures of sin over a life of faith in Christ! He joined the countless others who have unexpectedly left this world almost persuaded, but had never turned from their sins to find God’s grace in a life of faith.
The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Jeremiah 8:20
We believers often lift our voices in praise and worship to Almighty God; but did you know they are lifting up their voices in Hell right now as you read these words? Not in worship or song, but in a woeful lamentation – crying out words possibly similar to those words of Jeremiah: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. The season of plowing and planting has passed, but we would not soften our hearts and now we will be in this place of agony forever!” I realize these are harsh words and possibly a little on the rude side. But they are words every sinner who is turning a deaf ear to God needs to hear.
Faithless, the lost will find themselves cast aside; rejected by God like weeds pulled from a garden which are fit for nothing but destruction. Throughout eternity their cries of horror and lamentation will echo through the chambers of Hell. They let the seasons of life pass while refusing to grasp the true purpose of our existence. What a life altering experience it would be if we could for but one brief moment hear the sound of the agonies that for them will never end.
Receiving Seed In Due Season
…Ye must be born again. John 3:7
What a great thing it is that God has made it so easy for a person to be saved. The various religions of man all make it difficult to get right with God, because they seek it by self-righteous works, and that is a never-ending struggle! But, thank God, you don’t have to work and earn it; and you don’t have to go to school and learn it! All that is required from you is to turn to God from your sins, and cry out for His forgiveness. Call upon the Name of Jesus; only he can save a soul.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10
Don’t leave this sinful world three-fourths of the way to salvation. Choose to believe from your heart the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; that what took place on that Cross paid the penalty for your sins. And then be willing to tell others of your faith. Turn to Jesus; he will get you all the way there!